Cricket: Mark Wood says England could lose the next Stokes or Root if grassroots cricket remains shut

World Cup-winning fast bowler bowler Mark Wood says English cricket could lose “the next Ben Stokes or Joe Root” if the game doesn’t resume at the grassroots at the earliest.

“I’m sure a lot of people in this country would love grassroots cricket to be back up and running,” he said.

“We don’t want to lose the next Ben Stokes, the next Joe Root, the next superstar that might be coming through for the game,” Stokes was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

The COVID-19 pandemic has a dealt a severe blow to recreational cricket in England as it stands suspended since March and will continue to remain so despite the easing of lockdown rules in the country.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) wanted to restart recreational cricket from July 4, and said it was still in talks with the UK government despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday ruling out its immediate return because the ball, according to him, is a “natural vector of disease”.

Wood, however, said the continued ban on cricket around the country doesn’t make sense when the lockdown has been eased.

“If you can go to the pub, and go to restaurants – you’d hope that cricket could be on the horizon as well,” the 30-year-old pacer said.